Saturday, September 27, 2003

'And not even the blasphemers of the demiurge
have dared to deny that the universe is most
beautiful, but rather, they maintain that
because of this beauty, souls are harmed.'

   "The Dark Side of Blogging"

edge. Burning leaves good squirm, harl
In the stable of Receive.
Harmony the swarms build slag
Doughnut sprockets, evil swarf
Exultant pain froglegs pain
Chrome kissing daylight gazelle
Can't tenuous praetor blood flag calx
Crystal sequoias. Qibla
Where, dilithium rhost can't gecko

Wheedle prismatic edge verse;
Fractal nozzle crystal ghost.

09 27 03

"The source of all disorder was the
loneliness of the jackal, God's first-
born." --Marcel Griaule, Conversations
with OgotemmĂȘli

Geomantic Poles (centripetal & centri-
fugal spaces): the Cave & the Savannah.
A house is a pseudo-cave. A yard is a
pseudo-savannah. Perhaps this is the deep
origin of esoteric/exoteric, sacred &
secular; even, private & public... Dance
on a savannah makes Waves, whilst a dancer
in a cavelike area is a Particle.
Listening to: Golden Rain, "Ketjak: The Ramayana
Monkey Chant" (it took some searching, but i
remembered i had this record).

"Porno Megastore" (for Verbophobia)

When that dire November hurls its sway
And all Undead-Americans are exultant
To have seen the last sequoia's day:
Let the chameleon man begin, resultant

Of fraud befrauding those whose suavity
Is greasepaint rhost. Instead of kissing daylight
Turquoise, we shall join up too. The tea
Party has room for losers' panache, & froglegs...

The pro-Saddam wing. Charge of the fiery lilac
Harl, no records but our oval eclogues;
A good squirm will be had. Not fray-peripheral,
To hairlip the Pope whose 15kg dildo

A genealogy of orcs reaps feral.
In the stable of harmony, the swarms build.

09 26 03

Review of 2 guitar lines. "Seven Nation Army" by
The White Stripes. The lyrics are downbeat, but
the guitar has the swagger of a successful scam.
"Like a Stone" by Audio Slave. Says everything
there is to say about the year of 2003 A.D. in
one snarling run of distortion. I lay down my pen
in respect. (Till i read some more news again...)

Friday, September 26, 2003

Helsem's Rising Star.


Finally, a publication i was waiting for.

Don't read this. (via dr menlo) [I guess if this
election thing doesn't work out, we could just
all join the Republican Party, eh?]

Overview of Xenakis.

A brief email exchange on the exo/esoteric divide:


Very useful info. Thanks. I'm shocked that this
is still up! Or maybe you saw it cached
through Google? I haven't had that AOL account for
years. The essay was part of a class I taught at
the Garret about three years ago, I think. It was
intended as a kind of blog before there was blogging,
but not many people responded to it. I'll see if I
can still access it and add your comments as a note.

Very interesting that you mention "folk poetry,"
which is a phrase I've been using in my recent
thinking as a way to distinguish poetry whose author
is not deeply invested in whether or not s/he has
an audience from poetry that is written as an entree
into the po-biz marketplace and thus is written
with the express goal of cultivating an audience,
whether that audience is other poets, critics, readers,
or search committe chairs. It's probably not
"folk" in the way that the folk art (painters,
sculptors) is "folk," though, where the term seems to
connote lack of academic training and thus no
adherence to the conventions of "High" art, though not
necessarily a withdrawal from the trade marketplace
(Finster, for example, must make quite a good
living). I think I use the term in reference to poets
who choose to stay outside the game of "courting"
approval. I think entangled in my thinking about
this is also what seems to be a trend in the last
five years or so (maybe it's post-post?) to go "Low"
in diction, tone, subject matter (I think of
Brenda Coultas's new book A Handmade Museum). In
fact, I probably got off on this track while thinking
about the current popularity of the prose poem,
which seemed to rise creepily out of many people
realizing simultaneously that the prose poem is a
flexible way to achieve the ends of poetry while
simultaneously working in a way that was at the
moment considered to be out of vogue...
notwithstanding the underground tradition of the
prose poem itself.

bc" (Brian Clements)

>From: michael helsem <*************.com>
>To: ************.com
>Subject: evolution of difficulty
>Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 12:07:23 -0700 (PDT)
>i think the proper framing of this issue
>is in the distinguishing of "folk poetry"
>from "court poetry", which is visible in
>many, if not all, of the world's considerable
>literatures. in our Western European lineage,
>the Alexandrians seem to have been the first
>poets to write for other poets; & the name
>of Lycophron became synonymous with "pretentious
>obscurity". among the Troubadours, there was
>such a thing as "trobar clus"--& the same poet
>could write both hermetic & accessible poems
>without incongruity. in Old Norse Court Poetry
>(perhaps the most difficult--in every sense--
>that has ever been written) it is hard to imagine
>these involuted figures as anything except brain-
>teasers for people with WAY too much spare time.
>finally, in Late Tang poetry, such writers as Li
>Shangyin wrote poems that were so equivocal the
>very subject of them has been an object of debate
>ever since. i think we can conclude that wherever
>coteries form, their natural inclination is toward
>privatizing their discourse.

If you believe Global Warming is a myth, this
didn't happen either. Or this. Bruce Sterling:
"I hope you can get a 'wakeup call' during a blackout."
Another smoking gun. (pdf via bOING bOING)

A thoughtful Islamic critique of Islamist funda-
mentalism. (via Shia Pundit)

Austin sidewalk grattifi (particularly the
third one). (via Prentiss)

I wonder how my CD turned up in this catalog?

My favorite sonnet is either this one or this
, both by Millay (who not only wrote the
best sonnets of the 20c.--she wrote most
of the good ones). But on the whole i regard
this form, as i once remarked elsewhere, as
"the cynosure of poetasters". It has driven out
a whole ecosystem of delightful short-poem
forms which are now extinct, much like the
effect the introduction of rabbits had on Aust-
ralia... It's not the form per se that's so bad,
but "sonnetthink": that crown of olive-leaves
invariably assumed by the Sonnet Bard. (Or,
one sets out to write an "anti-sonnet"--what
good is that for a starting point?) Only a little
better is the haiku in English: but reading these
is an experience that mercifully ends in short

Favela chic.

I just this instant made up a new poetry
: you use a combination of
spook words & Buffy slang. (It hasn't got a name yet,
but i am open to suggestions. --A possibility:
"Fissionable Quiche." [via the Metafilter discussion])

Then there's what i like to think of as "Real World
"... (via Viridian Design)

To cuss in 121 languages.

Alexander Cockburn on the life of Edward Said.

You might say that the force of increasing
individualism has caused the separate (Jungian)
types to become more distinguishable, & to
form their own emanations [preferred surr-
oundings] more distinctly than ever before.
Social unravelling leads to the accumulating
of a yarn-ball for each color...

The Ego is a magic circle maintained by
mostly invisible taboos, avoidances,
distinctions & practices. Making this fact
explicit is a step toward acknowledging &
utilizing non-Ego powers. As soon as you
draw a line, you posit Doors. Why are they
conceived as separate entities then? Because
you won't try to open a door you believe is
merely painted on the wall.

Muse-Silence. Begins for a poet with those
things he cannot change & has ceased to have
new feelings about... Properly considered,
it is a call to arms. But the only way through
--is surrender.

In order to become human, a measure was
lost; humanity itself is a leaping of bounds.
But that gesture completes itself in the
finding of new measure...

'Cosmic images are sometimes so majestic that
philosophers take them for thoughts.' --Bachelard,
The Poetics of Reverie (1960)
As long as minimum wage jobs exist, the
Blues will not lack for a rationale.
Grunge is Blues for teenagers who work
at starbucks & feel exploited, but do
ten hours at a warehouse job & tell me
"Black Hole Sun" answers to your condition.

   "Aubade: Tan Sierra"

Megachurch the free gift,
Tutelary minimum wage.
Speed-trap cops with radar guns
Stop my breath in the cool gray
Morning drive.

Sky of but haggard revelations,
Brakes on the fritz, even to scribe
A momentary plaint takes
Way too much of my Wolf Age watch.

Bollywood song, a jewel flung
Out into the cratered streets
Salves the day of Niagara bailing,
Lets me (for a moment) not lose.

09 26 03

My ideal of a healthy audience-artist
relationship in the present epoch would
have to be that of Bob Marley & the
. Though it may be my fate, i
really don't want to be a "poet's poet".

Survival Research Laboratory's monster
machines: a Mystery Play for our times.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

If not a great age of literature, it is anyway
a great age of dust jacket illustrations.

A useful Spanglish/Spanish/English dictionary.
[I figure in 50 years, "Spanglish" will be the
de facto language of Texas...]

An article on "they" as a singular neuter pronoun
--& its surprisingly long history. (via AL Daily)

Osama bin Laden's "Best of Manhattan".

Hats for cats. (via Rebecca Blood)

To make CD's with that old 78 crackle.

   "Oneiric Flashbangs"

Time-starved, desultory
Poking at not-quite beginnings
That will never be anything more--
And this is in the idle
Half-hour found;

09 25 03


One of the old guys said
a good test of poetry was
that if you thought of a true
poem while shaving you'd cut yourself
lots of times I'll be reading a poem
and stop right in the middle
cause I just remembered
the great shaves I get
from my Wilkinson Sword-Edge blades"

--Bill Knott

Neo-Victorian Frump Boots.

Real heroes.

Melanie reviews:
" When is a Woody Allen movie not a Woody Allen movie? When it¹s Anything Else. No, no, see that¹s the name of the movie...Anything Else. Coincidentally, that¹s what it¹s also being marketed in, anything else but a Woody Allen movie. It¹s quite a horror, really, that DreamWorks SKG has opted to treat writer-director-actor Allen as an afterthought in his own film, and has instead decided to reach out to a whole new, younger [for Allen] audience by building the ad campaign around twentysomething actors Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci. Allen, the winner of three Academy Awards (for writing and directing Annie Hall [1977] as well as scripting Hannah and Her Sisters [1986]), besides being the most nominated writer in Academy history (thirteen Best Original Screenplay nods) should be accorded a little more respect, especially since Anything Else is the best movie he¹s helmed in years, maybe since the deceptively silly musical Everyone Says I Love You in 1996, or 1994¹s backstage/gangster romp Bullets Over Broadway before that.

As reported in an internet posting, Anything Else is like that scene toward the end of Annie Hall, in which Allen, as Alvy Singer, watches two gorgeous actors, male and female, rehearse a scene in a play he has written based on his on-again, off-again relationship with Annie. That¹s exactly how much of Anything Else plays: a younger version of Annie Hall, only this time the characters seem even more screwed up; at the very least, their neuroses are not made out to be all cute and cuddly. The main character is a nebbish comedy writer named Jerry Falk, played by up and coming actor Jason Biggs (age 25, previously known for the American Pie movies, as well as a stint on Broadway as The Graduate¹s Benjamin Braddock--the Dustin Hoffman role, get the picture). Falk is at a cross roads, both personally and professionally, when he meets, in the form of Allen, a sixty year old teacher trying to break into the wonderful world of comedy. Allen¹s David Dobel encourages Falk to get rid of the dead weight in his life, like his creepy agent (Danny DeVito), and most especially, Falk¹s live-in girlfriend, a ridiculously needy headcase played by Christina Ricci...but more on her in a bit.

The central relationship in the film is the one between Falk and Dobel, and Woody Allen has created something special in the doing. Dobel genuinely likes Falk and wants to form a writing team with him and move to California (for a sure thing tv gig), but Dobel sees that Falk is hopelessly stuck in a cycle of self-defeat, so he must first prod the young man to take a good look at the world he¹s chosen for himself. The trick is that--and don¹t think Allen isn¹t aware of this--as good as Dobel is for Falk, he¹s also a liability. Instinctively, Dobel knows this, but he¹s starting to feel the wear and tear of age, not to mention his own emotional shortcomings, and he needs Falk with his promise of youth and vitality if he (Dobel) ever hopes to break free of his own rut. At the same time, however, Dobel is still capable of putting Falk¹s needs ahead of his own and really wants to see his new friend prosper.

Woody Allen has often used other performers as the mouthpiece for his particular brand of high strung, self deprecating schtick. Mia Farrow did it--splendidly--in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and John Cusack had his turn in Bullets Over Broadway. Not bad. Kenneth Branagh, however, struck out in Celebrity (1998). Now it¹s Biggs¹ turn and he¹s quite a smart choice for the role. Allen has drawn a nice performance from the perfectly cast Biggs, and one can imagine the young star developing even more as an actor under Allen¹s future direction. These two belong together. Allen, for the most part, plays the straight man here, which is not to say he doesn¹t earn a few laughs. After all, his character is a bit of a survivalist nut, and Allen knows how to milk the gag; just the idea of this by now overly familiar scrawny shrub of a man toting an arsenal is worth a chuckle or two...sometimes, on the other hand, it¹s just scary, which also seems to be Allen¹s point. Anyway, the scenes of Biggs and Allen bonding, especially while trekking through the park, are touching and even a little sad in a slice of life kind of way. Give Allen credit for deft underplaying, as well as some of the most breathtaking shots of Central Park, in all its lush glory, ever committed to film (courtesy, as well, of cinematographer Darius Khondji).

Now, about Christina Ricci and the terminally helpless Amanda. Ricci, with her ever so dry delivery, was a marvellous child actress, especially in her role as Wednesday in the two Addams Family movies. As an adult, in things like The Opposite of Sex, she tries way too hard to impress as a cynical, dangerous, tough chick and generally annoys, but in this film Allen taps into something great about this actress, and the two of them create a memorable, albeit disturbed, character. Christina Ricci has an unusual presence. She¹s short and physically awkward besides having a head that seems almost too large and too round for her petite frame; moreover, she has big brown saucer-eyes and a cute little mouth. Even at age 22 (now 23) she is not unlike a Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz. The beauty part is that emotionally unstable Amanda has men falling all over her--at least for awhile--because of her waifish, little girl lost aura, especially those wide brown eyes that penetrate the soul. The full thrust of her propensity for terror doesn¹t surface until much later, and by then her partners are in too deep to make a clean break. Ricci is certainly effective casting, (she¹s also impeccably lit, like a real old time movie star) but the performance itself borders on brilliance. Even so, it¹s unlikely this actress will ever get the acclaim she deserves for bringing this unpleasant character to life. She¹s too believably self absorbed to inspire much goodwill. But what fun Ricci has playing her! Just look at how this woman¹s loose and limber body language is at odds with her repeated pangs of emotional discomfort. Notice, too, the ease with which Allen¹s words, with their irregular cadence, tumble out of Ricci¹s mouth. (The drawback of Allen¹s otherwise wining battle of the sexes/office comedy The Curse of the Jade Scorpion [2001]--think His Girl Friday, or The Desk Set--was that previous Oscar winning actress Helen Hunt seemed to have a hard time getting her mouth around Allen¹s words, and the carefully scripted putdowns often fell flat; one longs to see what a truly gifted comic like Lisa Kudrow, with her not of this planet timing, could do with the Hunt role, but I digress).

Ricci¹s Amanda can¹t seem to help herself, she just goes along from one blunder to the next, blithely unaware of her own power to annihilate those who love her. It¹s just her nature, and once her flighty, immature mother, grandly played by the great Stockard Channing, shows up needing a place to stay (she also brings along a piano), all the pieces begin to fall in place. Of course, Woody Allen has often been accused of being a misogynist, but in this movie he seems more genuinely confused by, rather than contemptuous of, women. It¹s this confusion, the process of sorting it all out that prompts Allen to write such interesting parts for actresses. That the women aren¹t always likable, I now see, is beside the point. Allen is very much fascinated by women (their contradictions, their allure and hold over men), and particularly in this case, he¹s making a concerted effort to unravel what he sees as a great mystery, even though it¹s not always pretty. That¹s just a guess, an observation. Most male writers and directors aren¹t as interested in fully exploring their obsessions. Likewise, many male writers and directors are content to create female roles that aren¹t nearly as challenging (for actresses, that is) or multi-dimensional, especially, god forbid, not in romantic comedies (in which more and more, all thought goes into a laborious set-up, and character development only exists to serve the plot).

It¹s a shame that DreamWorks has elected to market Anything Else as a generic romantic comedy, when what it really is, is a sometimes painful character study (or studies), a meditation on relationships, and not just the male-female kind, but also male bonding and mother-daughter stuff. Still, for all its observational flair, Anything Else is happily full of Woody Allen¹s stock-in-trade one liners (but no spoilers here); it¹s only upon repeat viewings that Allen¹s genius for structure and compassion for human beings in general truly comes to light. I very much enjoyed this movie. I took something with me from the experience, and it¹s hard to explain, what, exactly without giving away all the movie¹s surprises. Suffice to say, there¹s something truly special at work here, but it takes patience...and any longtime Allen fan knows as much. Early word on Anything Else was very encouraging though many of the subsequent reviews have been polite, if unenthusiastic...too bad. Those critics who continually compare Allen¹s recent output to his 1970¹s-1980¹s heyday are missing the point. Allen is our most disciplined filmmaker. He writes and directs at least one picture a year and generally does so without a lot of fuss, and because he typically works within a modest budget, his movies (with name-brand actors often taking reduced salaries) aren¹t much of a financial risk. It doesn¹t matter to Allen, nor should it, that he has yet to top, say, Hannah and Her Sisters. He¹s an artist, and once he¹s done with one project, he¹s ready to move on to the next. He doesn¹t need to fret and keep looking over his shoulder. A finished film just is what it is; if one doesn¹t hit, maybe the next one will. It¹s unrealistic to expect anything more. Allen is trapped by neither failure nor success. His desire is to keep moving, to keep working, and Hollywood could use more of that sort of professionalism, a throwback, if you will, to the old studio system of yesteryear. Yes, there really is something to be said for workman-like precision.

The early grosses are in, and it appears DreamWorks¹ marketing gamble has backfired. The opening weekend figures for Anything Else are less than any of the three previous movies Allen has done for the same studio, starting with 2000¹s Small Time Crooks, Allen¹s biggest moneymaker in a decade (worth watching for Elaine May¹s priceless performance). Woody Allen has a loyal, though steadily shrinking, following--and that¹s who the movie should have been aimed at all along. For those who are interested, both 2001¹s The Curse of the Jade Scorpion and 2002¹s Hollywood Ending offer nifty plot construction. Scorpion is a wild yarn about a female efficiency expert and a male insurance investigator who are unwittingly roped into a burglary scheme; Hollywood Ending features Allen as a down on his luck movie director trying to keep a case of hysterical blindness under wraps. Going back to the 1990¹s, Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Bullets Over Broadway, and Everyone Says I Love You are worth a look, but skip 1997¹s too mean-for-it¹s-own good Deconstructing Harry (Allen¹s last nominated screenplay).

In the past decade, Allen has made movies for Tri-Star, Miramax, Fine Line, and DreamWorks. His deal with the latter runs out with the release of Anything Else. His next picture is for Fox Searchlight. Hopefully they won¹t drop the ball. The project is off to an interesting start. Allen usually has specific actors in mind when he writes a script, and in the case of the upcoming venture, he was set to cast Robert Downey, Jr. and Winona Ryder (who appeared in Celebrity). Unfortunately, the insurance premiums for those two often troubled performers were too high for Allen¹s budget so he appears to have settled on Will Ferrell, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, and Chloe Sevigny, a one time supporting actress nominee (Boys Don¹t Cry, 1999) and oft photographed fashion show junkie, I mean...groupie. "

Listening to: Jennifer Batten's Tribal Rage (not a
good name; actually it's progressive rock instrumental
music, with some excellent guitar chops--).

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Listening to: Boards of Canada.
They have tried to tell us that causality
is meaning--that the skeleton is the body.

"Myth is the twilight-speech of an old man
to a boy. ...Myth is the facts of the mind
made manifest in a fiction of matter. The
speech of an elder in the twilight of his
life is not his history but his legacy; he
speaks not to describe matter but to demon-
strate meaning. He talks of his past for
purposes of his future. This purpose is the
prejudice of his memory. He remembers that
which has been according to what could and
should be, and by this measure sifts the accu-
mulation of his memory: he rejects the irrelevant
event, elaborates the significant detail,
combines separate incidents of similar principle.
Out of physical processes he creates a metaphys-
ical processional. He transposes the chronology
of his knowledge into a hierarchy of meanings.
From the material of his experience he plots,
in retrospect, the adventure for the mind which
is the myth." --Maya Deren, The Divine

The Bulldozer is our sacred cow.

"Deaf is the heart to which the Lares call from
the desolate floors in vain." --Zanoni

How can community exist without a sense
of place

"In the past two years, 500 export assembly factories have shut down in Mexico, throwing 218,000 workers on to the street. Their crime was the $1.26-an-hour base wage they were paid by companies such as Alcoa Fujikura to produce auto parts for export to the US. Those wages are now "too high" in the global economy. Never mind that the Alcoa workers in Acuna live in makeshift cardboard huts that lack potable water. Never mind that many of the workers in nearby Piedras Negras were selling their blood plasma twice a week to Baxter International for $30 in order to survive. Those same auto parts are now being made in Honduras by workers earning 59 cents an hour, in Nicaragua for 40 cents an hour and in China for 27 cents an hour." (via Wood_s Hole)

"Kabul is a glimpse of Dresden post-1945,
with contours of rubble rather than streets,
where people live in collapsed buildings,
like earthquake victims waiting for rescue.
They have no light and heat; their apocalyptic
fires burn through the night. Hardly a wall
stands that does not bear the pock-marks of
almost every calibre of weapon. Cars lie
upended at roundabouts. Power poles built for
a modern fleet of trolley buses are twisted
like paperclips. The buses are stacked on top
of each other, reminiscent of the pyramids of
machines erected by the Khmer Rouge to mark
Year Zero. " --the Guardian (via Robotwisdom)

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"Granting Permission Not to Read Experimental Poetry"

I speak; the cave speaks.
Too dark, but falling
Beyond the flat waste
While the wrinkled fractal lives,
Your hard, entire robot sinks.

09 22 03
Melanie asked me a very good question,
viz.: Were there any precursors to
"Rashomon"? My first thought was the
play within a play from "Hamlet", which
reflects the main action in parabolic
fashion, but they do not occupy positions
of equivalence. Likewise in Don Quixote,
what Quixote & Sancho Panza experience of
the same events is dramatically different
--but the author unequivocally takes the
side of the realistic interpretation.
Durrell, of course, with his "Alexandrian
Quartet"--but that was after. I think you
must look to Browning's verse novel The
Ring and the Book
for a story that is
told in different ways by different char-

Those who insist on fitting every
experience into a coherent worldview, end
up learning only what can be paraphrased.
Which is like being unable to read poetry
(even in your own language) except in
   Description, though, itself is
a genre of poetry. --Bad poetry.

It is the magician's privilege to disbelieve
in magic.

Science, wishing to disesteem marvels, says
they are worthless if untrue & then proceeds
to prove their impossibility. But science
holds sway among the people solely by virtue
of its marvels & its promises.

Monday, September 22, 2003

"poetry should be at least as well written as Pirates of the Caribbean" --Oh Wait

"those mountains are a military secret." --Rubber Hose

My Lunatick heart...

There is no one
to show these poems to
Do not call a friend to witness
what you must do alone
These are my ashes
I do not intend to save you any work
by keeping silent
You are not yet as strong as I am
You believe me
but I do not believe you
This is war
You are here to be destroyed"
--Leonard Cohen The Energy of Slaves

Customer brings a huge tub of books; also
seven roaches, of which i successfully kill

Wesley Clark's blog. Hm...maybe someday, the
candidate-blogger who gets the most hits,
will win.

An urban legend about Klingon.

First new Kraftwerk album in 17 years. (via plastic)
[Not a sign of the Apocalypse--i think.]
[[What about a new film by Jodorowsky?? Grr--
wonder if they still make LSD sugar cubes?]]

   "Farewell Galileo"

Brave little probe years in the cold alone
Patient to glean pictures of strange new worlds
Now like the Spartan band you will take the plunge
To a fiery end on a billion mile command.

09 21 03

Listening to: Penderecki- Dies Irae
   "As I Was Passing

As I was passing near the jail
I met a man, but hurried by.
His face was ghastly, grimly pale.
He had a gun. I wondered why
He had. A gun? I wondered...why,
His face was ghastly! Grimly pale,
I met a man, but hurried by,
As I was passing near the jail."
--J A Lindon in: Howard W Bergerson,
Palindromes and Anagrams (1973)



Entering the lonely house with my wife
  I saw him for the first time
Peering furtively from behind a bush--
    Blackness that moved,
  A shape amid the shadows,
A momentary glimpse of gleaming eyes
  Revealed in the ragged moon.
A closer look (he seemed to turn) might have
Put him to flight forever--
  I dared not
(For reasons that I failed to understand),
  Though I knew I should act at once.


I puzzled over it, hiding alone,
Watching the woman as she neared the gate.
  He came, and I saw him crouching
    Night after night.
    Night after night
  He came, and I saw him crouching,
Watching the woman as she neared the gate.


I puzzled over it, hiding alone--
  Though I knew I should act at once,
For reasons that I failed to understand
 I dared not
  Put him to flight forever.


A closer look (he seemed to turn) might have
  Revealed in the ragged moon
A momentary glimpse of gleaming eyes,
  A shape amid the shadows,
    Blackness that moved.


Peering furtively from behind a bush,
  I saw him, for the first time,
Entering the lonely house with my wife."